Kahn’s pitching lifts Crusaders over Moravian

BY KEVIN JONES – ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

The Susquehanna baseball team went on the road to play a set of three games against Moravian over the weekend of April 16 and April 17. The teams split the first two games on April 16 with Susquehanna, winning game one 12-7 and losing game two 8-2. Susquehanna won the final game on April 17 by a final score of 19-4. With the two wins, Susquehanna’s record improved to 21-10 and 8-6 on the road.

In the first game of the day on April 17, Susquehanna took an early lead with a three-run first inning thanks to a pair of home runs by senior catcher Zach Leone and senior first baseman Dylan Jenkins.

Jenkins also hit a solo home run in the third inning to give Susquehanna a 4-0 lead. The lead was quickly erased with a four-run third inning by Moravian.

Susquehanna did not give up, scoring four runs in the fourth inning on a two-run double by junior left fielder Josh Cimino and a two-run home run by Leone. Moravian scored three runs in the bottom of the inning, narrowing Susquehanna’s lead to 8-7.

Susquehanna added a run in the sixth and three in the seventh innings to cap off a 12-7 win. The run in the sixth came off a hit batter, and the three runs in the seventh came from a sacrifice fly, a home run by Cimino and a single by Jenkins.

Susquehanna outhit Moravian 17 to eight, but Susquehanna had seven errors in the game compared to Moravian’s two.

Susquehanna’s junior starting pitcher Corey Fallon earned a rare no decision in the game, lasting 3 2/3 innings and giving up seven runs on six hits. Only two of the runs were considered earned runs. It took four relief pitchers to finish the game for Susquehanna.

Game two on April 16 did not end as well for Susquehanna. Moravian struck quickly, scoring three runs in the second inning. Susquehanna tried to climb back in the game in the fourth inning with a run on a double by senior third baseman Bryan Palsi. Moravian rallied in the bottom of the inning with a run of their own. Moravian scored two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to have an 8-1 lead. Susquehanna’s junior outfielder Taylor Luckenbill hit a solo home run in the seventh inning for an 8-2 final.

Moravian pitcher Ryan Kahn was one of the biggest reasons for Moravian’s win, pitching a complete game and giving up a single earned run on five hits while striking out six and not walking a batter.

Susquehanna coach Denny Bowers talked about the strength of Moravian’s starting pitching coming into the series and the importance of Susquehanna knocking the starting pitcher out of the game early. Bowers also talked about the reason for the team’s success this year.

“Our offense: we hit the ball hard consistently and keep pressure on the base paths,” Bowers said.

8 Sports.pdf - Adobe Acrobat ProTHE CRUSADER / LAURA AUGUSTINOS

In a poll this week, Susquehanna’s offense was ranked to be one of the top five in the country. Bowers explained that he feels the team’s offense will continue to be strong regardless of how their starting pitching staff performs.

Susquehanna played well in the final game of the series on April 17 and got a 19-4 win. Moravian started off with four runs in the first inning, but it all went downhill for the Greyhounds from there.

Susquehanna struck back in the second inning with three runs on a two-run double by senior outfielder Justin Cassinelli and a RBI groundout.

Susquehanna continued to score in the third inning with four more runs on a Palsi double, a fielder’s choice and a two-run double from Cassinelli, giving them a 7-4 lead. Three more runs came in the fourth and fifth innings, combined on home runs from Justin Cassinelli and his brother senior designated-hitter Matt Cassinelli.

Susquehanna continued the strong offense until the end of the game, scoring six runs in the sixth inning and three runs in the ninth inning.

“Defense is something, as a team, we need to work on,” Cassinelli said. “Our outfield is very good, but we have to stay loose and keep our composure.”